US — Canada Border Closure Update Might Impact Tourist Visits to Niagara Falls
Restrictions between the US, Canada and Mexico have been further extended till at least Aug 21. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the border closure update putting a stop to all non-essential travel between the three countries.
The announcement was made by DHS’s Acting Secretary — Chad Wolf on Twitter. He wrote, “Based on the success of the existing restrictions and close collaboration with Mexico and Canada, @DHSgov will continue to limit non-essential travel at our land ports of entry with Canada and Mexico until Aug. 20”.
Wolf added, “close collaboration with our neighbours has allowed us to respond to #COVID19 in a North American approach and slow the travel-related spread of the virus”.
The border closure update was announced after the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Mexico claimed that the country had proposed to the US the extension of nonessential land travel restrictions for an additional 30 days. Besides the border restrictions, the DHS has postponed the reopening of enrollment centers for traveller programs till August 10.
Travel restrictions due to coronavirus have impacted the earnings of hotels, restaurants and other hospitality businesses in Canada. Speaking about the impact founder and owner of Rock Burger — Jason Lizardo said, “The closure of the Canadian border itself has affected us tremendously because there are a lot of Americans that would travel to Niagara Falls itself and stay on the Canadian side and come over here to eat”.
Many restaurants in Ontario had started offering their services outdoors and some are soon to start socially distanced indoor dining. However, the coming of winters has been put forth as a matter of concern as people will not be willing to eat outdoors in the cold.
Although summer tourism will be tough this year, the restaurants around are optimistic about the coming of better days. Under the Stage 3 of reopening, two casinos (Casino Niagara and Niagara Fallview Casino) in Niagara Falls are also planning to reopen with limited guests.
The border closure update will lay significant impact on the occupancy levels of hotels in Canada, which is currently standing at just 30 percent.
In the US, alcohol consumption is not allowed in bars in Florida. In Texas, all bars are shut and masks have to be born at various places. Dine-in restaurants and breweries are shut in California due to the pandemic.
People flying between the US, Canada and Mexico do not have to be concerned about the recent border closures if they prove that they are travelling for an essential purpose.
According to the Canadian Border Services Agency, anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of that country must prove they are traveling for an essential purpose, are only transiting or are an immediate family member of a citizen or permanent resident. They must also have a plan to quarantine for 14 days, unless exempted.
Despite clear instructions by the Canadian Border Services Agency, thousands of Americans who came with the hope to sightsee had to be turned away by the government.